05/02

Here I am...first week over! 25 weeks left on segant school. The students are made up of Air-Force personell who need the sergant title to get a promotion, and 12 civilians who are all pilot trainees (including myself).
We started off on Monday with a physical test, and 7 of the 40 failed, so they were sent home right afterwards.
Then we got information about the school (FFOS, Flyvevåbenets Førings og Operationsstøtteskole) which can be translated to Air Force Leader and Operation-support school.
We were shown to our quarters, which will be our home for the 26 weeks. Then we started off with lessons and were given the books and some of the equipment for the course.
Tuesday we were given the uniform and had a whole day of teaching with very short breaks in between. During the whole week, we worked/studied an average of 15 hours/day...and we were tired indeed after every day! Wednesday was another day full of learning until your brain catches fire. In the evening we were taught how to pack out back pack and how to use the field equipment...until 2355, and then it was time to sleep.
Thursday we got our first weapon, the Karabin M96, a beautiful machine gun! We learned how to separate it and then put it together again and we now know what every part of the gun is called. Afterwards it was time for a 12 minute running test and then we got our things ready for our first 'excursion'...

 

05/02

Thursday: Back pack packed, Battle uniform on, and all equipment ready for the trip. All in all, I think we had about 40kg of uniform and equipment that we had to carry. So we set off for the first 24-hour trip, where we sould get to learn eachother and try using our equipment and sleep outside in the forest. It was a good experience, even though it felt hard for us 'civilians.' I had a night watch from 0100 to 0200.
Friday morning we got up at 0615 and continued the exercise and prepared to go home. We left and when we arrived home, we had to wash all the equipment and check for any damage or missing things. All went ok. After that it was time to go home! Our first weekend. We were all in great mood and you could really feel the good spirit within the students. So we took the bus and the train for our 4½ hour trip home. In the future, when we have more free time, I will try to write more often...stay tuned.
/Stephen, ready for week number 2!

 

06/02

Sunday (at home). Here I am after a nice weekend with Sara. We went out to see a movie yesterday (The Aviator) and had some fast food. We really had some quality time together, but in a few hours time I'll be off on the way to Karup for yet another week.
I noticed and was told that I have quite a few spelling mistakes...well things have to go fast these days, time is a luxury that I don't have. So just get used to it and I'll work on writing a bit slower as soon as we get more free time.
Anyways, see you around...
/Stephen

 

07/02

(Monday 1845) Here I am, at the base. Finally we're starting to get a somewhat normal time schedule. Today we got off at 1600.
The physical training was what I would call 'painful' today. We all gave it 110% and did our best to get the most out of it. Our nuckles are all red and some are bleeding from the punching training...and the rest of the body just hurts all over.
We are all getting rather attached now, and would almost do anything to help eachother get through the course. This afternoon we had some more training on the M96 rifle/machine gun, starting the lesson with a test and finishing it with another one.
I had the privelage to meet STI, an F16 pilot who I had e-mailed with for the past few years. STI has his own website (www.jetpilot.dk) and we often help eachother with web-design and other web-site related issues. It was nice to finally meet him and have a chat with him. He is here at Karup AB on an exercise, along with a bunch of other fighter pilots from Ålborg AB and Skrydstrup AB. Anyway, the other guys are going to watch a movie now, so I'm off to join them and relax in front of the TV before we head off to bed.
Catch you later...
/Stephen.

 

08/02

Tuesday, 1700. Done for today. All I need to do is study a while for tomorrows test, otherwise it's relaxing and dinner that's left on my schedule...and hopefully it'll be an early night, since my body hurts all over from yesterday. It's hard work to be on sergeant school, but in less than 25 weeks, it'll hopefully all be over, and then it's on to flying school.
This Thursday we're starting on an Instructor course, and it will go on during Friday and the whole of next week, so I probably won't have much time to write...
Today an F16 made a touch and go here, while I was in the polishing-room, polishing my boots. I ran out of the building to see it when I heard the noise. I never saw the aircraft but our leader saw me outside and shouted: GALEA, WHY ARE YOU OUTDOORS WITHOUT A HAT ON??? Damn, I didn't think that far when I heard the noise. The point is that we should ALWAYS have the hat on, when we are outdoors with a uniform on...no matter if there's an F16 or not. Some times, some things are just hard to remember.
Catch u later...
/Stephen

 

08/02

By the way: We're having a big airshow here at Karup AB on the 19th of June. Go to www.airshow2005.dk for further info. So far, Frecce Tricolori, Aguila, a MiG29 from Hungary and the Danish flying and static aircraft are confirmed. See you there!!
/Stephen

 

13/02

Sunday 1335, at home. Another week over and I'm off back to the base in about 1½ hours time. We had a great week. Wednesday we were out playing soldiers in our combat uniform and full face camo, where we learned impotnat things about the tearrain and how to get over obstacles like barbed wire, walls and so on.
Thursday we started on the instructor course and we had quite alot of flying activities. Apart from the usual stuff (Army, Navy and Air Force helicopters and civilian traffic) we had German Tornados and a couple of Danish F16's doing touch and gos. Friday we had an E3 AWACS doing touch and gos for many hours, what a beautiful sight! It's very motivating to see and hear military aircraft when you're in the classroom being taught for many hours in a row.
Anyway, I'm outta here. Home-work is done and I'm ready for another action-packed week.
Stay tuned!
Best regards
Stephen

 

18/02

(Friday, at home). Another week over, and this week we had our first real exam. Fortunately we all passed, so no one was sent home. We had the instructor course this week, so we learned many teching skills. It was a hard week with many hours of learning and preparations for the next day. Next week we're scheduled to fire our M96 for the first time, so we're all very excited about it. Some guys from the other class say that it's a very accurate weapon, and the low recoil and optical scope help you to hit the target without any great problems.

We had quite a few F16's visiting our base this week. And the week for us ended with 2 F16s landing in formation. I also met LUN, the F16 student pilot who I met when I got the simulator ride in January 2002. He is now a fully converted F16 pilot. We had a little chat at the cafeteria before I headed off to get the result from the exam that I had just taken.

Unfortunately, another team member has dropped off, so now our class is down to 18 out of the original 24.

I'm outta here, got some things I have to take care of. In the mean time, take care of yourselves.
Best regards
Stephen

 

21/02

(Monday 2130). We started off with some swimming lessons this morning. We practiced resquing eachother and some good swimming techniques.
Then we headed off outdoors for some theory about using our M/96 and trying different shooting positions. We had F16s overshooting the runway all the time during the lesson, so it was rather hard to concentrate. The lesson ended with a written test (yes, outdoors in the snow!).

After dinner we headed off to our 'living room' and have just finished watching a DVD, today we watched Top Gun. Now we're all checking e-mail and we're off to bed soon.
G'night all!
/Stephen

 

23/02

(Wednesday, 1905). Hard day today, even though it was rather short. We spent most of the day outdoors, and considering the weather conditions, it was rather hard to move the fingers. Temperature was well beyond freezing and we had heavy winds and occasional snow-storms.
We shot the M/96 for the first time, using blanks of course. It was good to finally pull the trigger and feel something happening to the weapon.
Some German Tornados which had been here over night, left today, giving us a bit of entertainment during the cold outdoor lessons. We also learned some battle techniques on how to judge distances and how to get ready to engage the enemy. Many tactical aspects go into the equation and it's all very exciting to learn about, and necessary for the modern soldier.
Tomorrow we have a similar program to today's, however we'll continue until about midnight so that we also try what we've learned by night.
Friday we have a bit more theory and a final exam in teaching, so I better go dig in the books, since I won't have the opportunity tomorrow.
Next time I write again will be in the coming weekend.
Take care...and stay warm!
/Stephen

 

27/02

(Sunday 2235). Back at the base. Time has really started to accelerate away now. 4 weeks have already passed, which means that one sixth of my time at sergeant school is over!
It's cold tonight. The temperature is expected to drop to -15 (yes, MINUS fifteen!)
Last Thursday we had our first night exercise. After a good briefing we were dropped off by the lorry, in a forest close to the base. I was appointed as Scout 1, which meant that I was responsible for the navigation. It isn't exactly easy to navigate in a forest at night, where everything is covered by about 30cm of snow. Fortunately the weather wasn't that cold, however this meant that since the temperature was slightly above freezing, the snow was starting to melt...and we all got wet indeed every time that we had to lay down to keep a low profile when the enemy was searching for us with search-lights and flares.
Anyway, this week we're going to be doing alot of shooting at the range, so we all look forward to getting properly acquainted with the M/96.
Hopefully we can hit what we aim at...
It's my turn again as room forman this week, so I'm responsible for a clean room. So better head off and start preparing for tomorrow before the fatigue really starts hitting hard.
G'nite all. Stay warm.
Best reagards
Stephen